Taseko’s Q2 loss below expectations, BC mine ramp-up impresses

9th August 2013

By: Henry Lazenby

Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America


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TORONTO ( – British Columbia- (BC-) focused base metals miner Taseko Mines this week reported a net loss of $14.72-million, or $0.08 a share, for the three months ended June 30, a $20.48-million drop from the net profit of $5.76-million recorded in the same period a year earlier, as lower copper prices and lower grades impacted finances.

Revenues were down 8.3% year-on-year to $68.91-million, compared with $74.37-million, mainly as a result of a 10% drop in the average realised copper price to $3.16/lb.

Taseko reported a second-quarter adjusted loss of $10.2-million, or $0.05 a share - below analyst expectations of a loss of $0.01 a share.

Operating costs climbed to $55-million, resulting in a gross margin of 19%.

Taseko Mines reported second-quarter production of 28.1-million pounds of copper, a 21% increase over the previous quarter, as the company’s flagship Gibraltar mine ramped up production from its recently commissioned Concentrator 2 as part of the Gibraltar Development Plan III (GDP III).

Molybdenum production for the second quarter was 333 000 lb, 6% lower than the first quarter’s 355 000 lb output.

Taseko reported that total copper sales in the second quarter rose by 25% to 27.8-million pounds, as a result of the increased production, as well as improved inventory and logistics management. Molybdenum sales totalled 317 000 lbs.

The company’s 75% share of second-quarter sales was up 30% to 20.9-million pounds of copper and down 6% to 238 000 lb for molybdenum.

The ramp-up of the new concentrator progressed during the second quarter, as operations and maintenance crews continued to fine-tune and optimise equipment and operating parameters. Taseko said the new concentrator had met all expectations and was beginning to consistently achieve throughput and recovery design criteria.

Laurentian Bank Securities Equity Research mining analyst Christopher Chang this week said that, despite the lower-than-expected earnings, the ramp-up of GDP III continued to “impress”.

“Post the quarter, Gibraltar averaged mill throughput of 74 000 t/d for the month of July with an exit rate exceeding 83 000 t/d. We remain impressed with the overall progress of the GDP III ramp-up, as the operation appears to be performing better than our expectations.

“With sequential improvement in mill throughput and copper recoveries, we anticipate unit costs should decrease going forward as copper production improves,” he said in a note to clients.

Taseko is also moving forward with public hearings into its proposed New Prosperity mine, in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region of BC, amid fierce opposition from local environmentalists and First Nations.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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